|How the garden feels at night underfoot in wax crayon and black poster paint.|
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I'd like to blog more about pregnancy and parenthood after sexual abuse but there is no clear blog sharing network such as exists in the infertility world that I can find so I'm starting from scratch. If I have found your blog online and you are returning the visit/comment then 'welcome', I love comments and new (and regular) followers.
I'm crossing the mid-30s line in a couple of weeks and I wouldn't go back to my 20s if you paid me. I love where I am now, emotionally, despite the struggles I've had in the past few years.
I suppose it looks as though my efforts to start a family began at the the removal of contraception back in June 2009 but in reality it was long before that. I restarted therapy in my late 20s when it seemed strange to others who thought I didn't NEED to but I knew I had to stop binge-drinking and getting involved with emotionally abusive men who knew the steps to my dance and knew the tune only to well.
Having witnessed the power of nurture when it goes wrong I was also terrified to reproduce until I felt I had expelled my demons.
There was the added complication of making babies the non fertility treatment way as I struggle with sex...still.
I didn't recall the abuse or the perpetrator for years and when I did it was a huge revelation, the timing was terrible as I was studying and training hard but I was at my happiest and strongest and so I believe the truth showed itself only when I was ready to deal with it...even if that involved some awkward public moments.
Uncovering the abuse and remembering it and acknowledging it was the most amazing experience in my life. The pain and the lows were almost worth the relief and the highs that came with the truth. I still have mini breakthroughs/new memories now but they pass so quickly I can carry on a conversation or continue working through them.
I have virtually no visual memories of the abuse and 99.9% emerged in dreams and I had to write them down and read them later to see them.
Dealing with infertility and recovering repressed memories of sexual abuse draw lots of parallels for me. Peoples innocent questions sting sometimes and one feels compelled to knock out stock answers to save awkward moments. These questions include; 'When will you... try for number 2 (or try a baby)?', 'Do you remember your first time?' and 'What are you doing for Father's Day?'
No one in my family wants to talk about the abuse. My sister wants to keep up a relationship with my Dad and has no memory of him abusing her. My Mum is remarried and turns grey and trembles when I raise the subject so I've let it go. My Dad's new wife is unable to acknowledge it. Cousins, Aunties and Uncles prefer to keep up the facade also and so if I want to see them all I have to sit at the same table as my Father and play along.
I haven't decided yet where my Dad will fit into being a Grandparent. I have told him and my step-M I will not be accepting their offer of cash to but baby things. I saw my Dad once this year back in the UK but felt sick when he greeted me and knocked my 20 week bump. It was the first time N didn't come with me to a family gathering but I appreciate it's hard for him to keep up a pretence for my sake.
I spoke to my Dr for the first time about the abuse and feelings towards the birth in the next few weeks. He was shocked after all the examinations so far that I hadn't mentioned it to him but it was good to talk and make it clear I am very worried I won't be able to breast feed because it will feel too awful so I don't have any well-meaning-latino-touchy-feely-midwives grabbing my boobs...or (and the mere thought makes me dizzy) rubbing my nipple against the babies mouth to help it latch on.
So anyway, as I approach another life changing moment, I am reflecting and feeling extra nostalgic. I feel more positive that negative experiences in my earlier life will have a more positive effect on things now as I am all the stronger for them. I am less black and white too and while I'm glad I waited to start a family at the risk of it being smaller than I'd like now, I feel I've done the right thing and I accept nothing will ever be perfect and there is no end to the healing that has begun.